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lamy sell their books by the millions, and men like Howells, called our first writer in fiction, have as crude ideas of economics or political science as is revealed in his writings on these subjects, we need not marvel that, to a city like Chicago, labor troubles arise, and social questions have come for solution. To have spoken in such a city for so many years on these great questions and maintain the right poise of mind is the highest tribute that could be paid to Dr. Hillis. But his type and temper of mind, both by inheritance and environment, is individualistic and yet sociocratic. He has intuitions of the bi-polarity of truth that lead him always aright on the great social questions of the day. There has been no writer or frequenter of the walks of literature since Emerson who can compare with Dr. Hillis as the advocate and apostle of subjectivism. "A Man's Value to Society" reveals the triumph of individualistic conceptions. The man is the unit with powers, and faculties, and with natural rights that rise by the side of the duties and functions of the state as one mountain by the side of another stands independent and solitary. This is that conception of the autonomy and independence of the individual that sent the Mayflower across the ocean and drove Dr. Hillis' ancestors to the north of Ireland. It runs in his veins bequeathed to him as the richest legacy of a distinguished ancestry. It does not necessarily adopt and sanction the entire individualistic conception of competition in the sphere of economics, for it gives free play to the philosophy of coöperation; it does not approve of the laissez-faire doctrine as it is seen in operation in a selfish world; but, on the contrary, it does not deny the fundamental doctrines of ethics, nor attempt to change the well-established conceptions of the rights of property, because the desire to acquire so readily passes over into avarice. Dr. Hillis is not a socialist, nor is his mind closed to the evils of the competitive warfare. He certainly does not advocate a return to the democracy of Aristotle, when the state was the unit, and the individual a zero, and this is precisely what many clergymen are virtually advocating. Men with socialistic views are no more the product of New England thought than thistles are the fruitage of fig-trees. They are misled by their sympathies for the poor in the fierce struggle for existence, and in this spirit of good-will and kindness all Christian thinkers must join. But because competition works some evils, it need not give way to a régime that is infinitely worse, that stifles liberty, and binds the individual in chains, delivering him over to a bondage that Luther broke away from, and that sent the Mayflower across the sea.
As the friend and advocate of individualism, and at the same time the foe of its evils, an educated mind sees an imperfect crystallization of the forces of society. Dr. Hillis maintains that judicial poise that is absolutely necessary in these days of social deforms and reforms. New Eng-. land individualism sacrificed the lower value to the higher, it left the ninety and nine to find the one, only because proper conceptions of the
rights of the individual were necessary to the perfection of the whole. It realized what Herbert Spencer said, that the character of society is determined by the character of its units, for one cannot make a perfect whole out of imperfect units. In Dr. Hillis' second book "The Investment of Influence," the other pole of the truth is developed, and here we find the line of truth so essential that the rights of the individual are subordinate to the good of society. David Swing told the writer that he had no taste for social questions, and that he had little knowledge of them. This cannot be said of Dr. Hillis. In this particular he has been a much broader reader and thinker than Swing, and his sympathies are far more democratic. Swing was naturally aristocratic, and his associations were largely with the prosperous and well-to-do. Dr. Hillis finds friends everywhere, among rich and poor alike. In a word, then, Dr. Hillis has the poetic temperament, the artistic sense, the fine perception of truth, the refined sentiments and noble ideals in all shapes and colors, the qualities that so characterized Swing. The application of those qualities to religious themes with a vigorous common sense and a deep love of the truth must find appreciation wherever there are minds that think or hearts that love. But Dr. Hillis has some qualities in a superior degree, the element of conscience no less than of intellect, the vigor of will no less than refinement of sensibility. Hence he is more heroic than Swing. He is more of a Spartan and none the less an Athenian.
WILLIAM EWART GLADSTONE.
THE Life of Gladstone by Justin McCarthy1is without doubt the most interesting biography that has appeared since Boswell gave Johnson a new and unending lease of life. It is written in a fascinating style, as entertaining as a fairy tale, and yet instructive in almost every line. For while there is no "preaching," yet we cannot arise from the perusal of this book without being inspired with resolves to do more and better for the good of the world. The biographer has the historic spirit, as has been well displayed in his previous writings, and this gift is conspicuous in the work before us. There is no other book which gives us as true and interesting a narrative of England's progress, and her influence on the destinies of the world since the passage of the Reform Bill in 1832, when Gladstone's public life began. Every event political, religious, social, or educational is touched upon; often briefly, as was inevitable from the size of the book and its purpose; yet with a master hand, and in a way to make us desire for more. The great men who were the contemporaries are described, and their share in public measures sketched, in such a masterly way that they stand in clear outline before us. And, what adds greatly to the value of the work, is the large number of portraits and photographic views, some seventy-six in all: so that we have a most valuable album of noted characters in Britain who have figured during this century. The book is gotten up in such a dainty style that it looks almost too nice to touch.
Though the book is certainly well written, we must take exception to a few things which betray carelessness or hurry. While this is confessedly the life of Gladstone, there may be too much reiteration of the name. This very often occurs twice, or even more, in a single sentence. Had the name been used twelve hundred times less, much space could have been saved for valuable uses, and the simple pronoun made the meaning equally clear, and the writing more terse. On page 163 Mr. McCarthy criticises Disraeli, and tries to show his lack of culture by his interpretation of the word "University," and the title to one of Cardinal
1 The Story of Gladstone's Life. By Justin McCarthy. New York: The Macmillan Co. 1897.
Newman's books, "Apologia pro Vitâ Suâ.” In both cases the critic is wrong, and shows in himself the same sort of deficiency which he blames in the author of "Endymion." But these are slight blemishes, and they in no way destroy the wonderful charm of the whole book.
Mr. Gladstone is one of the few great men in the world's history who have shown equal vigor in their earliest manhood and extreme age. At the age of twenty-two he had won the highest possible place for ability and culture by taking the "Double First" at Oxford; and his writing when in his eighty-eighth year shows no abatement in keenness of intellect and literary polish. For sixty-three years, "two generations of articulate-speaking men," he has been in public life. Four times he has been Prime Minister, a greater number than ever fell to the lot of any other man; and, had he not definitely abandoned public life in 1894, he would, without doubt, have been called upon again to kiss the Queen's hand, and assume the greatest office in his country. And when he was not prime minister he very frequently had the care of the finances; where he exhibited a power never equaled of making the details of a "Budget " exhibit the charm of fascinating eloquence.
Mr. Gladstone is known almost equally well throughout the civilized world. And justly so, because he has given his life for the common interests of humanity. He is honored as much in America as in England, where he is, without doubt, the most popular commoner which that country has ever possessed. He is not, it is true, popular with the Tories, who are the enemies of progress, because he is the friend of the laboring-man. He is not liked by the profane and unbelieving, because he is emphatically a religious man. But with the virtuous, the cultured, the friends of the oppressed, he is the most widely known and best beloved person in the world.
This "Story" of his life meets a strongly felt want. It is rare to have a biography of a man while living, except it be to serve some political purpose as an aid to his popularity, or to injure his advancement. But nothing of this sort is possible here. Mr. Gladstone definitively abandoned public life in March, 1894, and hence there is nothing to be gained by a biography, either for his political friends or foes. Most elderly statesmen, even those of marked ability, after they have retired from public life, are exceedingly dead, whether they wish it or not. But the Grand Old Man is very much alive, very much in evidence, despite his voluntary retirement. No man living, not even the cavorting young Kaiser, occupies so much of the public notice as the venerable statesman who has retired to his Welsh castle.
He has always been a most devoted Christian. While at Eton and Oxford he was known as thoroughly religious. And his religion was of that hearty, unaffected sort which won credit for being sincere while it escaped the censure of being strait-laced. It requires much good sense, as well as sincere piety, to hold the balance between these two tempers
while in college. For the average student is censorious,-especially of one who has the reputation of being pious, and will not descend to such wild excesses as many good people think pardonable during the university course. A close study of Mr. Gladstone's character reveals moral earnestness as the leading trait. He is the personification of conscientiousness. He desires always to do right. In fact we do not believe that he ever listened to a temptation to do what he thought to be wrong. He has changed many times during his public life, and has therefore been often charged with inconsistency. But every man of progress must change. It is only those who have no reason for their convictions, i.e. those who never learn anything, or outgrow their swaddling-bands, who do not change their opinions. But he has always been brave enough to acknowledge his errors and strong enough to forsake them when the onward march of human progress the logic of events-opened his eyes either to new truths, or new modifications of old ones. A notable instance was his attitude toward our country during the early years of our civil He made a speech at Newcastle in October, 1862, in which he said: "Jefferson Davis had made an army, had made a navy, and, more than that, had made a nation." But he soon saw his error, and made the most frank and hearty acknowledgement of, and sorrow for, his great mistake.
He began his public life as a Tory, the pet of Oxford and the landed aristocracy. He changed, as the light of progress dawned upon him, to a moderate Liberal. He extended the Franchise gradually until it became, as we in this country think it should be, dependent upon manhood alone. Though always a devout churchman he often worshiped with Dissenters; and when in the Highlands he started the Psalm, with his wonderfully melodious voice, in the Scotch Presbyterian kirk. Though devoted to Episcopacy in England, he disestablished this church in Ireland; thus freeing the seven-eighths of the population who are Catholics from the odious burden of supporting a church whose doctrines they did not believe, and whose worship they would not attend. While his maiden speech in Parliament was a defense of slavery in the English colony of Demarara, he has labored for forty years to give justice to the Irish tenant-who has been oppressed until his cry reached heaven as distinctly as that of the slave did in the United States. To achieve Home Rule for Ireland he went into a Parliamentary election when he was eighty-four, speaking daily for hours at a time with all the vigor of his early manhood, secured a large majority, carried his measure in the House of Commons triumphantly-only to have his cherished policy of justice to the Irish tenant balked by the House of Lords, where every reform in England has been temporarily checked. But "his soul will go marching on," whether he be in this world or the next, until justice is done to Ireland, and the separation of the Church from the State, for which he has labored and prayed, shall be made complete.